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Goethe Yearbook 15

Goethe Yearbook 15

Simon Richter
Daniel Purdy
Martha Helfer Book Review Editor
Series: Goethe Yearbook
Volume: 15
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 252
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Goethe Yearbook 15
    Book Description:

    The Goethe Yearbook, first published in 1982, is a publication of the Goethe Society of North America and is dedicated to North American Goethe Scholarship. It aims above all to encourage and publish original English-language contributions to the understa

    eISBN: 978-1-57113-740-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Goethe’s Reception of Ulrich von Hutten
    (pp. 1-18)

    Toward the end of the seventeenth book of Dichtung und Wahrheit, Goethe recalls his discovery of the works of the humanist Ulrich von Hutten (1488–1523):“Die Werke Ulrichs von Hutten kamen mir in die Hände und es schien wundersam genug daß in unsern neuern Tagen sich das Ähnliche, was dort hervorgetreten, hier sich gleichfalls wieder zu manifestieren schien” (FA 14:773). This remark is followed by a long quotation from Hutten’s autobiographical letter to the Nuremberg humanist Willibald Pirckheimer (1470–1530). In the cited part of the letter, Hutten expresses the desire to be ennobled on his own merit and criticizes...

  4. The School of Shipwrecks: Improvisation in Wilhelm Meisters theatralische Sendung and the Lehrjahre
    (pp. 19-34)

    Goethe’s twenty-six year tenure as director of the Weimar Theater gives little indication of an interest in improvisational acting. In 1803 he composed a comprehensive list of rules for the aspiring actor which includes guidelines for pronunciation, rhythmic delivery, posture, hand positions, costumes and almost everything else imaginable.¹ This “narrow corset”² with which Goethe girded the actors under his purview is a far cry from the improvisational acting popular in Germany at the beginning of the eighteenth century, before the onset of the theatrical reform spearheaded by Johann Christoph Gottsched and others.³ Given Goethe’s programmatic attention to detail as theater...

  5. The Sublime,“Über den Granit,” and the Prehistory of Goethe’s Science
    (pp. 35-56)

    His scientific pursuits and writings have merited Goethe a place in histories of science in the eighteenth century,¹ and there is a great body of scholarship that documents his work in various scientific fields.² Recent studies, part of a wider reevaluation of the development of science in Europe in the eighteenth century,³ have greatly assisted our understanding of the intellectual and sociological milieu in which Goethe’s scientific pursuits took place and have largely erased the image of Goethe as a dilettante. Alongside studies of contemporary science in his various poetic works⁴ are those investigating the conceptual basis of Goethe’s scientific...

  6. The Building in Bildung: Goethe, Palladio, and the Architectural Media
    (pp. 57-74)

    Well before photography and electronic networks encircled the planet, there existed a European migratory channel within which architectural images were carried across the Alps by tourists and pilgrims.¹ Moving along well-established pathways, architectural drawings, treatises, and personal recollections operated as a self-replicating network that allowed travelers, once home, to recreate the buildings they so admired abroad. The northern European reception of Andrea Palladio (1508–80), facilitated by the elegant woodcuts and explanations of his Quattro Libri dell’architettura (1570) [Four Books on Architecture] and by the prominence of his buildings in cities and estates between Vicenza and Venice, demonstrates the effectiveness...

  7. Virgilian Retrospection in Goethe’s Alexis und Dora
    (pp. 75-98)

    “German poetry,” says Friedrich Kittler,“begins with a sigh.” Ach, the signifier of ineffability at the center of the German word for language (Sprache), launches, in this case, the spate of elegiac production most closely associated with Goethe’s classical lyric.

    Ach! unaufhaltsam strebet das Schiff mit jedem Momente Durch die schäumende Flut weiter und weiter hinaus! Langhin furcht sich die Gleise des Kiels, worin die Delphine Springend folgen, als flöh’ ihnen die Beute davon. Alles deutet auf glückliche Fahrt: der ruhige Bootsmann Ruckt am Segel gelind, das sich für alle bemüht; Vorwärts dringt der Schiffenden Geist, wie Flaggen und Wimpel; Einer...

  8. Typologies of Repetition, Reflection, and Recurrence: Interpreting the Novella in Goethe’s Wahlverwandtschaften
    (pp. 99-114)

    In the tenth chapter of the second part of Die Wahlverwandtschaften Goethe inserts the novella “Die wunderlichen Nachbarskinder,”¹ an intriguing puzzle whose solution elucidates his moral and lends added unity to the work Thomas Mann deems “de[n] kühnsten und tiefsten Ehebruchsroma[n], den die moralische Kultur des Abendlandes hervorgebracht hat.”² The novella must be considered a puzzle, for although Goethe provides information throughout the novel that reveals the identity of the young officer of the insert, the character of the novel whose past presages the future of the other three principals, he challenges the reader to deduce the outcome of the...

  9. Why Did Goethe Marry When He Did?
    (pp. 115-130)

    Why did goethe marry Christiane Vulpius, his companion of eighteen years, on 19 October 1806, five days after Napoleon’s victory over Prussia at the battle of Jena-Auerstedt? The act perplexed Weimar gossips at the time, angering some, and Goethe’s motives for suddenly marrying then have been much discussed since.¹

    After the wedding, a legend rapidly jelled: that the poet had married Christiane primarily out of gratitude, to thank her for her valiant defense of his person and home from the French soldiery plundering Weimar on the “schreckliche Nacht”² of 14 October. One report, by the Jena anatomist J. C. Loder,...

  10. Zum Verhältnis von Selbstsein und Miteinandersein in Goethes Urworte. Orphisch
    (pp. 131-160)

    Man hat merhrmals versucht den ganzen Gedichtzyklus Urworte. Orphisch im Sinne des Metamorphose-Gedankens und des dialektischen Polaritäs- Denkens Goethes zu verstehen. “Der Zyklus”—so Theo Buck—“fügt sich organisch in die langjährigen Bemühungen Goethes um die Erkenntnis der Lebensgesetzlichkeit in Gestalt von ‘Urpflanze’ und ‘Urphänomen’ ein. So erklärt sich auch die auf den ersten Blick überraschende Erstveröffentlichung der Urworte. Orphisch in der vom Verfasser selbst herausgegebenen Zeitschrift Zur Morphologie (1820).”¹ Dass Theo Buck von dieser Auffassung her auch der Meinung ist, dem “zyklischen Gesamtbau”der Urworte liege “die dialektische Konzeption”² der morphologischen Steigerung zugrunde, ist zwar folgerichtig, aber—wie wir sehen...

  11. Schiller’s Die Räuber: Revenge, Sacrifice, and the Terrible Price of Absolute Freedom
    (pp. 161-170)

    There have been many excellent interpretations of Schiller’s Die Räuber, beginning with Benno von Wiese’s chapter in his Schiller¹ up to the 1998 essay by Hans-Richard Brittnacher.² Jaimey Fisher in an article published in the Goethe Yearbook in 2003 raises several issues that relate to my reading of the play. I will address these issues below. In general I agree with Karl S. Guthke’s assessment of Karl Moor as being driven by what the other robbers call “Groβ-Mann-Sucht” (titanic ambition), that the negative aspects of his character prevail over the positive ones, and that his final sacrifice does not redeem...

  12. Wallensteins Tod as a “Play of Mourning”: Death and Mourning in the Aesthetics of Schiller’s Classicism
    (pp. 171-186)

    Numerous critics have pointed out that with the exception of Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell, the protagonists of his classical dramas die at the end: Wallenstein, Maria Stuart, Joan of Arc, and Don Manuel and Don Cesar, the two enemy brothers in Die Braut von Messina.¹ If we associate Schiller with Romanticism, as Anglo-American criticism has done, this emphasis can be interpreted as part of the Romantic longing for death that we find in the works of his contemporaries from Novalis to Hölderlin.² But if we classify Schiller as a representative of German Classicism, it is difficult to find an explanation for...

  13. The New Man: Theories of Masculinity around 1800
    (pp. 187-216)

    Recent historical research has placed considerable emphasis on the redefinition of masculinity around 1800. Scholars have rightly pointed to the French Revolution as a major event in the transformation of masculinity, an event that left its mark not only on France but also on other parts of Continental Europe.¹ In the German countries, changes began to emerge during the 1780s, especially in the field of education; yet, it is only after the devastating Prussian defeat of 1806 that the question of masculinity receives official attention. For the Prussian reformers, the debacle of the Prussian army at Jena and Auerstedt represented...

  14. Book Reviews

    • John Armstrong, Love, Life, Goethe: Lessons of the Imagination from the Great German Poet. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. xv + 483 pp.
      (pp. 217-218)
      Elizabeth Powers
    • Richard Block, The Spell of Italy: Vacation, Magic, and the Attraction of Goethe. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 2006. 310 pp.
      (pp. 219-220)
      Kamaal Haque
    • W. Daniel Wilson, ed., Goethes Weimar und die Französische Revolution: Dokumente der Krisenjahre. Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2004. 746 pp.
      (pp. 220-222)
      John Blair
    • Hartmut Fröschle, Goethes Verhältnis zur Romantik. Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann, 2002. 564 pp.
      (pp. 222-223)
      Erlis Wickersham
    • Gabriele Blod, “Lebensmärchen”: Goethes Dichtung und Wahrheit als poetischer und poetologischer Text. Würzburg: Königshausen and Neumann, 2003. 335 pp.
      (pp. 223-225)
      Catriona MacLeod
    • Nicholas Rennie, Speculating on the Moment: The Poetics of Time and Recurrence in Goethe, Leopardi, and Nietzsche. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2005. 359 pp.
      (pp. 225-227)
      Simon Richter
    • Florian Krobb, Die Wallenstein-Trilogie von Friedrich Schiller: Walter Buttler in Geschichte und Drama. Reihe Literatur- und Medienwissenschaft, Bd. 99. Oldenburg: Igel Verlag Literatur, 2005. 122 pp.
      (pp. 227-228)
      Ehrhard Bahr
    • Simon Richter, Missing the Breast: Gender, Fantasy and the Body in the German Enlightenment. Seattle: U of Washington P, 2006. 353 pp.
      (pp. 228-229)
      Elisabeth Krimmer
    • John Pizer, The Idea of World Literature: History and Pedagogical Practice. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2006. 190 pp.
      (pp. 229-231)
      William H. Carter
    • Maike Oergel, Culture and Identity: Historicity in German Literature and Thought 1770-1815. Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 2006. viii + 297 pp.
      (pp. 231-233)
      Angus Nicholls
    • Geoffrey Atherton, The Decline and Fall of Virgil in Eighteenth-Century Germany: The Repressed Muse. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2006. xx + 312 pp.
      (pp. 233-234)
      Thomas L. Cooksey
    • Johannes Birgfeld and Claude D. Conter, eds., Das Unterhaltungsstück um 1800: Literaturhistorische Konfigurationen—Signaturen der Moderne (= Forum für deutschsprachiges Drama und Theater in Geschichte und Gegenwart, vol. 1). Hannover: Wehrhahn Verlag, 2007. xxiv + 271 pp.
      (pp. 234-236)
      Uwe-K. Ketelsen
    • Gudrun Loster-Schneider and Gaby Pailer, eds., Lexikon deutschsprachiger Epik und Dramatik von Autorinnen (1730–1900). Tübingen and Basel: A. Francke, 2006. xii + 492 pp., with CD-ROM.
      (pp. 236-238)
      Arnd Bohm
    • Paul Fleming, The Pleasures of Abandonment: Jean Paul and the Life of Humor. Würzburg: Königshausen and Neumann, 2006. 170 pp.
      (pp. 238-239)
      Robert Combs
    • John B. Lyon, Crafting Flesh, Crafting the Self: Violence and Identity in Early Nineteenth-Century German Literature. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell UP, 2006. 280 pp.
      (pp. 240-241)
      Walter Stewart
    • Roger F. Cook, ed., A Companion to the Works of Heinrich Heine. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2002. xiv + 373 pp.
      (pp. 241-244)
      Robert Combs